August 2008 Convention
Kansas City, MO

Panel Discussion: Special Events for Your Flute Club

Christine Cleary moderated this year’s panel. The discussion of the three panelists was strengthened by the diversity of mission and focus of the three flute clubs they represented. Ellen Johnson (Flute Association at Florida State University) shared methods to successfully solicit funds from the campus Senate Sweepings Committee, often receiving free venue space as well. Proposals are strengthened by partnerships with another outside (off-campus) flute club, additional fundraising efforts, and creative expansion of the event to have campus-wide appeal.

Kathy Cameron, of the Central Ohio Flute Association (at the Ohio State University), focused her discussion on important questions to ask when hosting a flute competition. She stressed the importance of having clear goals, creatively publicizing the event with flyers and business cards, paying attention to detail all along the way, carefully selecting repertoire and judges, involving lots of volunteers, and posting competition results in newsletters, Web sites, and personal letters to the winners.

Sandy Schwoebel

Sandy Schwoebel, from the Tucson Flute Club, whose members do not respond well to the traditional masterclass format, shared ideas for planning creative participatory-type events. A fundraising play-a-thon at a retirement community, with per-minute playing pledges for the participating flutists, netted $3,000 for the local food bank in addition to a generous collection of food. A “Flute Tasting” resulted in not only tasting and judging the best wine, cheese, and chocolate, but also judging the best sounding flute (played from a separate room). Other successful events have included national anthem performances at ball games, flute repair classes, a yoga session for flute players, and collaborative flute choir performances with other ensembles (e.g. clarinet choir).

—Rosene Rohrer